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Thanskgiving Lunch with Craig Heatley: “How He Became a Top New Zealand Entrepreneur”


An audience with Craig Heatley, entrepreneur

Talking about his new book

This is the incredible story of how Sky Television founder, Craig Heatley, went from humble beginnings to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in New Zealand.  Craig was a schoolboy when he saw his first business opportunity. He bought a section with $200 saved from his paper round and developed a subdivision. A few years later after noticing the popularity of a mini-golf course while at the beach, he and a friend created a mini-golf course in Taupo (pouring the concrete themselves) and then formed a business partnership to open the hugely successful Tamaki Drive mini-golf course.

Seeing an opportunity for an amusement park led him to develop Rainbow’s End (where he almost lost David Lange on the log flume) and by 1986, he became the youngest person on the National Business Review‘s Rich List.

But it is Sky Television that was his boldest and most precarious undertaking. The fledgling company teetered in the early nineties as rugby suffered its own crisis, torn between its amateur heritage and the forces of professionalism. Heatley could see the answer and made it happen. 

No Limits gives fascinating insights on Craig Heatley’s business philosophies. He believes you should always admit when you were wrong and says if you’re starting a business, be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life. He advises not to ‘try to catch a falling knife’, but rather wait and pick it up off the floor if you still want it then. And he reveals why you don’t need to know everything yourself. This is a perfect book for anyone interested in business.

‘Craig built businesses that New Zealanders wanted before we knew we wanted them.’ – Sir John Key

‘Without Craig, there’d be no Sky TV. The importance of Sky to professional rugby in New Zealand cannot be overstated.’ – Steve Tew


Joanne Black is an award-winning journalist. She currently lives in Washington DC where she is a speech writer and a freelance journalist.


Craig Heatley lives in New Zealand and also has houses in California and Hawaii. He is a member of some of the most prestigious golf clubs in the world including Augusta National, Cypress Point and St Andrews.

Numbers limited to 100
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Nov 22
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
For Chamber Members from $97.75